SSC IN ACTION
Strategic Scientific Consulting has successfully worked with many great companies and organisations since 2010 in the UK and since 2015 in Finland.
Networking & Team Building - EcoTelligent
Connecting companies with potential customers and stakeholders in new markets
As the world rushes to embrace wider 4G and 5G coverage there is a need to have additional infrastructure to support the telecommunications equipment, and increasingly there is a desire for the masts to be able to blend into the landscape and to be made from natural materials.
EcoTelligent are leaders in this area and SSC were able to work with them to facilitate meetings and discussions with industry leaders in the UK to enable them to inform their business strategy and plan for internationalisation and moving into new market territories.
Strategy Days - The Way Forward
Individual Tailored 360 business assessment and strategic thinking support
Wendy Pring, formerly MD of KCP Ltd a company she had founded in 2002, asked SSC for assistance when she decided to create a new business venture based around her passion for sustainable development and helping communities. SSC helped her to articulate the purpose, direction and targets for getting “the show on the road” and with our mentoring support around closing contracts she has been able to hit 2022 targets already!
Quote from Wendy Pring, CEO of The Way Forward 2045 Ltd;
“Putting together the milestones strategy for The Way forward 2045 Ltd and promoting my individual identity as a Climate Ambassador has been a step out of my comfort zone after being in a family business for 17 years. SSC have provided ideas, have been a sounding board and have helped me to refine my sales approach and strategy and made a huge difference to the speed that I have been able to move forwards in my first year.”
Start Up - CuanTec
Ground zero to hero – from the inkling of an idea to success at Series A
One of Scotland’s foremost BioEconomy and Circular Economy companies is CuanTec Ltd which has been assisted by SSC from idea through to completion of SEED funding and arrival of a new CEO.
CuanTec opened its lab on 9th Jan 2017 with set-up funds from investors and grant support from SMART Scotland to begin its journey of developing innovative products from raw materials provided by the ocean. The process of moving from a concept, an ambition, to a detailed scientific development and commercial plan with appropriate evidence is not swift. Ideas develop, EU regulations and directives change (in this case for the benefit of the business) and it takes dedication and determination to get to a final point where there is an investable, supportable proposition.
For CuanTec this process of idea to commencement of operations started in 2012 with the earliest considerations of what could form a business and then took 2 ½ years work to build the plan and get funding. This resulted in the launch of a biopolymer manufacturing company researching innovative methods of biological extraction of chitin from the shells of langoustines and from that creating a chitosan-based biodegradable, compostable, antimicrobial food packing initially aimed at the fresh seafood market.
SSC was there from the very beginning and continued involvement with the company post-launch by providing CEO (Cait Murray-Green) and Head of Marketing (Andrew King) through the first 4 years of operations. This enabled further grant funding to be obtained, successful research projects to be completed, providing value inflection points for the company and a successful SEED funding round securing interest of Sky Ocean Ventures as leading investor alongside Scottish Investment Bank (part of Scottish Enterprise). In total over £2.5m in grant and equity was secured.
Cait and Andrew provided all the strategy and PR for CuanTec themselves and this included success in competitions including Scottish EDGE, HIGGS EDGE winner (150k, June 2017) RSPB Nature in Scotland Awards and Pitching events at the RSC in London, and JLAB an innovation program which brought them to the attention of Waitrose and John Lewis.
Now with a new CEO in post, CuanTec will go forward as a fully formed company capable of taking on the world.
Inspiring New Innovators - YES
Supporting new skills in young researchers
SSC often works with good ideas just because they are good ideas. Over the years Cait, Bill and Emily have all participated in Young Entrepreneurs Scheme developed by University of Nottingham. This is a business competition that allows young researchers to experience the commercialisation process in an intensive boot-camp style approach and has inspired several to go on to be entrepreneurs for real! The SSC team have provided assistance as event managers, instructive presentations and case-studies as well as mentoring of the teams within the Environment, Biotechnology, Engineering and Energy themes.
Arielle Torres, Postgraduate Researcher at University of Nottingham, YES team “Pipeline Organics";
“Cait’s input re future UK market made it very clear we needed to tap into the global market sooner than expected. This had seemed an overwhelming task but her advice re licensing/consultancy helped us see not only viability but also an opportunity. Cait’s critical input made the difference and sent us to the Final!"
Market Analysis GreenTech - VTT
Providing world class researchers, world class market research and strategic advice
The fashion and textile industries are responding rapidly both to the need to de-plasticise their products, but also to reduce the footprint of their production processes and therefore they are looking for new materials, that can be created as part of a circular economy approach, and which have significant reduction in environmental impact.
SSC were commissioned to provide market research into the alternative technologies and materials that could replace traditional animal hide leather.
Commercialisation Skills Training - Oulu University
SSC tailored training courses for young researchers, in person and on-line
SSC have worked with several UK and Finland research institutes to provide training in a range of aspects of commercialisation and one of the most enjoyable locations is the University of Oulu in the far north of Finland.
Here the team support young researchers across 2 days to upskill and challenge them through a practical approach and hands-on activities to improve their research applications, their own CV and their spin-out ideas.
In 2020 the course had to be adapted to on-line delivery, which was a different experience for trainers and participants alike but retained the individual focus close attention that is the USP of all SSC Business Kickstart courses.
Funding Application Writing - Tutli
Grant application preparation for Tutli & R2B Commercialisation projects
Over the past 5 years Anna-Marja Hoffrén has worked with several universities in Finland to assist researchers create their Tutli (now R2B) applications to Business Finland. Getting a clear explanation of the business opportunity and quantifying that along with a realistic plan of how market share can be obtained is vital to success.
Åbo Akademi University research group, led by Dr. Eleanor Coffey, received a Business Finland Tutli funding for a project to develop a biomarker test for Parkinson’s disease that will diagnose the disease at a pre-symptomatic stage. The approach they have developed is applicable for diagnosis, for monitoring progression of the disease, monitoring response to treatment, or stratifying subjects for clinical studies. Anna-Marja Hoffrén helped the research group in the funding application phase and the wider SSC team continued supporting the commercialization part of the project as it rolled out.
Another project which has benefited from Anna-Marja’s knowledge is in the area of insect repellents.
Quote from Preethy Paul, Project Researcher, Åbo Akademi University;
“We received valuable support for evaluating the potential of our Insect Repellent Tutli-project from Strategic Scientific Consulting Finland.”
Innovation - TWEFDA
Unlocking Ambition Success for TWEFDA
Support for Entrepreneurs is essential to give them additional skills and confidence and the 2nd round of the prestigious UNLOCKING AMBITION (https://www.unlockingambition.scot/) is an excellent programme. Designed for promising companies and business ideas which will help Scotland achieve its green economy ambitions it takes 40 talented founders into each cohort.
SSC helped to prepare the successful application for TWEFDA’s Javier Dominguez who participated with that elite group in 2021 to develop and take forward his ES-WAVE device (which will be able to both generate and store marine renewable energy.
Quote from Javier Dominguez, MD of TWEFDA;
“Cait is helping me to really clarify my thinking about how to explain TWEFDA as a company and the first product ES-WAVE to the world. Together we are creating a proper portfolio of business documents to present to potential investors and also to support grant applications alongside costed work-plan to take the idea from TRL 2 to commercialisation and market. I have directed businesses before, but my language needs to progress to be able to communicate with ‘money people’ and working with SSC who can understand my technology but who also understand the funding maze has been invaluable.”
Market Analysis - Strathclyde University
Inspiring Young Technologists to Commercialise
Inspiring scientists to explore their inner entrepreneur is pivotal in these changing times. 80% of tech companies that fail in the first 3 years do so, not because of the technology, but because of a lack of sales.
Training scientists to identify and communicate the business vision behind emerging technologies from the highly regarded universities in Scotland and Finland is important and can help students determine if they really want to move into further research or if a more commercial role is a better career path for them. SSC has worked with Strathclyde University for more than 10 years to train and support groups of final year students at SIPBS (Strathclyde Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Science) to provide professional quality market research reports highlighting market opportunity and route to product launch for more than 30 projects from the University.
Quote from Catherine Breslin - Head of IP & Commercialisation at University of Strathclyde
“Cait's support for our Enterprise students surpassed expectations from the start and she has now made herself indispensable to the Hub and is a valued contributor to the wider SIPBS community.”
Business Development Mentoring - MediaSapiens
Working alongside and within established sales team to support entry into new markets
MediSapiens are a leading bioinformatics company based in Helsinki who worked with SSC between 2016-2018 to develop their international sales presence and sales strategy.
Quote from Marko Kuisma, CCO of MediSapiens (2015-2018)
“We worked together with SSC for two years. Our partnership involved sales representation of MediSapiens in select territories where we did not have local sales personnel. We decided to pursue this route before recruiting full-time local employees, and it made perfect sense investment-wise. Our partnership enabled us to tackle a new market - in terms of learning about the specific market modalities, raising awareness and establishing and fostering new customer contacts - while keeping costs in check. Throughout the two years, it was a genuine delight to work together with SSC. Their expertise both in the biotech sector as well as in commercial operations and strategy helped us not only in customer development, but also in organisational development.
One of the best things working with SSC has been their upfront and straightforward way of working. It has always been easy to discuss, plan, execute and review together. They’ve never been hesitant to give feedback and ideas. It has always felt as we’re on the same team - one team, regardless of organisational boundaries. That was also commended by the MediSapiens team, and everyone liked a lot to work together.
I also value their sales capabilities to a high level. Their approach is very professional - establishing leads with an open mind, pushing leads forward just the way they should be advanced (steadfast, but respectful and discreet), and constantly learning. They always had the customer’s benefit and value in mind - something I’m positive our customers valued as well.
Overall, I can genuinely recommend working together with SSC. Their passion in developing science-based businesses really shows in what they do.”